BEWARE OF TRANSLATIONS
Modern Translations of the Bible can be very helpful, but they
can also be deceptively wrong! You need to be careful with
translations. Here is an example of what I mean- Keith Hunt.
TRANSLATIONS OBSCURE THE TRUTH
by Pastor Jory Steven Brooks
The world we live in exerts a heavy influence upon Christian
Bible understanding. We are literally saturated with all forms of
popular (and often unsound) beliefs and assumptions every day.
Evidence of this is found in virtually all of our media sources
who in lock-step equate Israel solely with the Jewish people of
today. Yet, if those who adhere to the Jewish religion are the
only descendants of Abraham, does someone stop being an Israelite
when they become a Christian? Does a Hebrew-Christian convert
lose all rights to the Abrahamic covenant and its inheritance? Or
have no Israelites ever accepted Christ as Savior?
When my daughter was in high school, one of her teachers
made the emphatic statement to the class that the number of
Jewish conversions to Christianity was insignificant.
This assumption has even influenced our Bible translators.
For example, in Mark 1:40-45, we read of Christ healing a leper.
Verses 44 and 45 in the King James Version tell us, "And [Christ]
saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way,
show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those
things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But he
went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the
matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the
city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from
Ferrar Fenton translates the above underlined words, "as an
evidence to them." Similarly, the New American Standard Bible,
Wuest Expanded Translation, and Douay Version all translate this,
"for a testimony to them." The literal Greek also agrees with
this meaning: "eis marturion autois" ("for a testimony to them").
But who is the "them" in this passage? A number of Bible
translations assume that it is the Israel nation as a whole that
is in view, and write it into the text. The Revised Standard
Version states, "for a proof for the people." Lamsa agrees.
Moffat says, "to notify men." Phillips: "as public proof." The
Amplified Bible expands the meaning as follows: "as a proof (an
evidence and witness) to the people [that you are really
This interpretation not only adds to the Scriptures what is
not written there (the Greek text does not explicitly say who
"them" is), but it also makes a logical contradiction. Why would
Christ say "tell nothing of this to anyone" if He wanted it to be
"a witness to the people"? How could it be a witness to the
people if no one was told about it?
Of course, the reason for the logical fallacy is that the
translators were so transfixed with the idea that "Israel as a
whole all rejected Christ" that the healing in this passage
(verses 41-42) is assumed to be a testimony against Israel's
Is it any wonder that we find such a heavy dose of
misconception in our witnessing to others when their own Bibles
promote a false view of Israel's faith in Christ?
Reading through the context of Mark chapter one, we find
much evidence against the view that "Israel all rejected Christ."
In verse 37, the Apostles tell Jesus, "all are in search of you."
(Ferrar Fenton translation) In other words, all of the people
"throughout Galilee" (verse 39, Fenton) were excited about Jesus
and wanting to come to Him. These were Benjamites, a tribe
of the House of Israel that was loaned to Judah to be a Spiritual
light (1 Kings 11:36) and became part of the Babylonian exiles
who settled in Galilee. We read in Mark 1:45, "they came to Him
from every quarter." (Fenton)
There is little basis for assuming that Christ's Galilee
healing was a witness "against Israel's unbelief" when
significantly large numbers of the population of the area were
excitedly following and worshipping Him. Yet traditions have a
mental-hold that is hard to break, and can lead translators into
writing utter contradictions into the text.
So who is the "them" of Mark 1:44? The stated subject of the
verse is "the priest"; that is, the priesthood or religious
rulers of the temple of Jerusalem. Although that may not be
explicit enough in this verse for some readers, it becomes
increasingly evident in succeeding chapters of Mark's gospel. The
point is that Christ's healings were a testimony against the
priesthood which had denied His authority as Messiah. They are
spoken of as a triple alliance of the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in Mark 11:27.
"His Own Received Him Not"
Still another prime example of translations obscuring
Biblical truth about Israel is found in the gospel of John
where we read, "He came unto his own, and his own received him
not." (King James Version) Here is how the Living New Testament
translates this: "Even in His own land and among His own people,
the Jews, He was not accepted. But to all who received Him, He
gave the right to become children of God." The clear teaching
here is that only non-Israelites ever believed in Christ. Many of
the Gentiles would believe, but none of the people of Israel
This theology is contradicted, however, by many statements
throughout the gospels and Book of Acts that tell of the vast
multitudes of Israel who gladly accepted Jesus and believed in
Him as the Messiah.
For example, Matthew 19:2 says, "GREAT MULTITUDES FOLLOWED
HIM" Mark 10:1 says, "MULTITUDES CAME TOGETHER UNTO HIM AGAIN."
Yes, multitudes, not of the leaders, but of the common
people followed Christ. So many Israelites followed their Savior,
that Luke 11:29 tells us, "THE PEOPLE WERE GATHERED THICK
TOGETHER." Luke continues to tell us in chapter 14, verse 25,
"AND THERE WENT GREAT MULTITUDES WITH HIM." How many Israelites
followed and believed in Christ? Great multitudes!!!
In a related article, "Did Israel Reject Christ," we
remarked: Another interesting statement is made by Luke in
chapter 12, verse 1: "THERE WERE GATHERED TOGETHER AN INNUMERABLE
MULTITUDE OF PEOPLE, INSOMUCH THAT THEY TRODE ONE UPON ANOTHER."
They stepped on one another's feet to get to Christ! Notice that
there was no room to walk because of the great multitudes of new
believers; it was standing room only for Israelites following
Christ! Scripture records that the Pharisees said to one another,
"PERCEIVE YE HOW YE PREVAIL NOTHING? BEHOLD, THE WORLD IS GONE
AFTER HIM." (John 12:17-19) From a vantage point in Israel of
that day, it did indeed appear that the whole world, "an
innumerable multitude," had gone after Christ!
It is clear in the Scriptural record that very many of the
Israel people believed in Jesus as their Savior and Messiah. It
is therefore also true that the passage in John 1:11 is not
correctly interpreted by those who assume that the rejection by
"His own" meant all of the people of Israel. Ferrar Fenton
translates this: "He came to His own home; but His own family did
not welcome Him." This we know to be true, for our Savior also
stated, "A prophet is not without honour, except in [i.e.,
within] his own country, and in his own house." (Matt.13:57,
A good Bible translation is a vital aid to understanding the
truth about Israel. Ferrar Fenton knew and believed the Anglo-
Israel truth, and his "Holy Bible In Modern English" is available
in either soft or hard cover from the CBIA catalog or our
booksite at www.migrations.info. For more information on the
subject of this article, read the related study, "Did Israel
Reject Christ?" on the CBIA member site: www.israelite.ca or
write CBIA for a printed copy.
From "Thy Kingdom Come" - April 2009, a publication of the
Association of the Covenant People, Burnaby, B.C. Canada.
A VERY IMPORTANT KEY TO CORRECT BIBLE UNDERSTANDING IS FOUND IN
MY STUDY CALLED "AN IMPORTANT KEY." MAKE SURE YOU KNOW AND
UNDERSTAND THAT KEY - Keith Hunt